13 June 2011

Keeping it all together

As admins we have different projects going on all the time, meetings scheduled with our bosses and other things that need reminders set or items brought forward.  I have found to be efficient and professional you really do need to keep all these things together.

For instance when I meet with my boss I have things I need to ask him so I put it in a folder and bring it with me, then we go through it item by item.   I write on each item whatever direction he gives me and then when I am back at my desk I complete the tasks, whether it is forwarding correspondence to someone to draft a reply, filing or replying on his behalf to an email.  I call it the CEO folder.   

Another way you can accomplish this is to have a meeting book just for meetings with your boss where you can write questions you need to ask or insert items you need direction on.  This can be as simple as a lined note book, but restricted only for meetings with your boss.  I find it useful to date the page each time you meet.  This is helpful when you need to refer back to remind yourself of the direction or to remind your boss of an action he or she asked you to do.

For each of the meetings I provide support to I have an agenda folder and any items that people forward me to add to the next agenda or questions they might have, I put in that folder.  When I meet with my boss or one of the Directors about that particular meeting, I always have my folder to refer to.  This is also useful when you meet with the Chair to create the agenda so you can be reminded of anything that needs to be put on it. 

Then there are all those reminders that you put either in your Outlook calendar, your tasks or in your Inbox and this is where I find you really do need to keep it all together.  I don't want to be looking in every which way or I might miss something and will appear disorganized when trying to track it down.  I use Outlook only for items for me to remember.

I don't have my computer with me when I meet with  my boss, but another assistant I know does bring her laptop with her and types in anything she needs to follow up or take action on.  I am still more comfortable with writing it down, but you have to do what works best for you.

I hope these few thoughts are helpful to you or will at least get you thinking about how best to keep it all together.  I would be interested in hearing how others organize themselves and would welcome comments or suggestions as we all can learn from each other and I find that is our greatest strength when we can share ideas.

5 June 2011

Summer days are here again -- Finally!!

I haven't been blogging in awhile because there have been lots of things going on in my personal life and at work.  My second grandson was born in early May and what a cutie he is.  There is a board meeting coming up next week and I've been organizing that.  I was going to need a tractor to cut my grass if I didn't do it soon, so I had to mow the lawn.  And on top of all that I was sick with a nasty flu for a week.  Life sure can get busy...but wait! Summer vacation time is right around the corner.  I am anticipating the time off as I'm sure many of you are. 

How does your office organize summer vacation time or do they?  Our office starts a vacation calendar around mid-May and all staff enter their vacation requests for the summer.  It is a simple tool, but a good one to ensure there is someone on site at all times.  There was an article in Office Arrow called Oh no the entire office is on summer vacation.  It sounds funny, but it could happen if you don't plan ahead.

The assistants in our office operate on a buddy system and we try to coordinate our holidays to make sure there is the necessary admin support in each of our areas.  I find if you start talking about vacation ahead of time, it gives people time to make adjustments if necessary.  I recall a few years ago, someone in my office submitted their vacation request and attached their flight itinerary to the form.  It was too late then to make changes, the flights had already been booked, but that was not fair to the others in the office.  If you plan in advance then it is easier to accommodate each other's schedules. 

Have a great summer everyone.